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Press Release

Texas Man Sentenced to Twenty Months in Prison for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

Springfield, Ill. – On June 26, 2023, a Texas man, Robert Niffen, 63, was sentenced to 20 months in prison and seven months of supervised release for failing to register as a sex offender in Illinois in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2250(a).

At Niffen’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Lawless found that Niffen absconded from the state of Texas, despite being on parole, and had failed to register or update his registration as a sex offender when he arrived in Pike County, Illinois. Niffen remained in Pike County doing odd jobs and staying with various people. Niffen is required to register as a sex offender as a result of his conviction for aggravated rape in 1981. Niffen previously spent 20 years in a Texas state prison and is required to register as a sex offender for life.

At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that Niffen was arrested after approaching three female minors and offering them marijuana and the use of a hot tub. Local law enforcement was contacted, and Niffen initially presented a fictitious name before running away. Niffen was later caught and arrested. When he was arrested, he was in possession of a small amount of marijuana. Niffen has remained in the custody of the United Marshal since his arrest on June 13, 2022. He pleaded guilty on March 7, 2023.

The statutory penalties for failing to register as a sex offender pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) are up to ten years imprisonment, a minimum five-year term of supervised release up to life, and a fine of up to $250,000.

The Barry, Illinois Police Department and United States Marshals Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sierra Senor-Moore represented the government in the prosecution.

The case against Niffen was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated August 9, 2023

Project Safe Childhood